When you hear the phrase “records management”, do your cringe? We understand updating and properly managing your records isn’t fun, but it is necessary in order to protect your business or organization. Just like everyone knows flossing is important to keep your gums healthy, so is regularly maintaining your records management system. The problem is how do you show the value and get people to care? Here are five valid reasons to get others excited about records management.
1. You’ll create an efficient office.
If your current filing and records management system is unorganized and in disarray, your employees are wasting valuable productive hours trying to locate files. Having a centralized and organized system will not only save time, but also cost less in the long run. Checking your electronic records regularly can also alert you to outdated file formats or any corrupted files. Additionally, having a cohesive records management system can allow for better correspondence maintenance and enhance the information retrieval process.
2. You’ll reduce operating costs.
Remember how we said it can reduce costs in the long run? It’s true. No matter if you are a business or government agency, it requires administrative dollars for filing cabinets, office/storage space and staffing (if a RMS system isn’t in place). According to Records and Archives Management, “implementing a records retention program can reduce on-site and off-site electronic and hard copy storage costs by 30% or more.”
3. You’ll ensure your records are compliant.
The United States has the most heavily regulated recordkeeping requirements in the world. This can pose a compliance issue for both businesses and government agencies, if your records aren’t properly saved or readily accessible. The only way to safeguard against heavy fines, severe penalties or legal action, is to implement and operate an organized and efficient records management system.
4. You’ll safeguard sensitive information.
Every organization and business is vulnerable and susceptible to attack, and your records are vital for your survival. Regularly checking the storage facility (both physical and electronic) will allow you to check for damage or possibly areas where your security is weak. If you keep physical records, the elements can be just as dangerous as a break-in. Make sure they are stored in an environment, where the air temperature is monitored and regulated and out of reach for most insects and animals. If you maintain electronic storage devices, make sure they have the proper security measure in place (e.g. firewalls, passwords and back-up devices).
5. You’ll establish best practices.
If you implement a monthly records management sweep, where you check on the quality and security measures of your records, it’ll establish consistency in your office. You will create a benchmark date to review the retention status of your records, so you can destroy outdated records. Additionally, if a destroyed record from your organization is requested for a lawsuit, you can prove the destruction wasn’t malicious or intended, but part of your organization’s regular records management maintenance.
Ultimately the end goal should be to create a standard process for complying with best practices. By regularly updating and maintaining your RMS, you can properly destroy old and outdated records, allowing for more space both on-site and off, consistently saving time and money. Implementing a regular records management maintenance check will establish best practice standards and can potentially protect your organization from legal action, fines, penalties, and security threats.
How does you office deal with up keeping and destroying outdated records?